Unveiling of new public artwork in Garden Place


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22 November 2011

A significant new public artwork will be unveiled in Hamilton’s Garden Place this Friday, 25 November.

The sculpture by renowned New Zealand artist Neil Miller was commissioned as part of the CityHeart Garden Place development works and represents a number of aspects of the site’s history and cultural significance.

An official unveiling for the sculpture will be held in Garden Place from 7.30am on Friday. The event will be open to the public and include a traditional blessing, kapa haka performance and speeches by Mr Miller, Deputy Mayor Gordon Chesterman, and Chair of Hamilton’s Public Arts Panel Carole Shepheard. A name for the artwork will also be revealed at the event.

Project curator Rob Garrett said the artwork will add to the vibrancy and creativity of the new-look Garden Place.

“Neil Miller’s proposal for a Garden Place sculpture was selected because of its striking form, energy and site-specific concept. A major factor is the way it tells a distinctive Garden Place story,” he said.

The 12m-tall sculpture represents Pleiades in the form of a growing vine, with the stars of Matariki forming the fruit on the vine. It honours the city’s first inhabitants (Garden Place was first used by Maori as a garden and observatory) and celebrates the horticultural heritage of the name ‘Garden Place’. The vine form also references the nearby Waikato River.

The artwork is fabricated in steel and aluminium and includes anti-climb collars integrated into the flange designs.

The total cost of the public art project is $110,000, which includes a $10,000 contribution from WEL Energy Trust.

About the artist:
Neil Miller trained under leading New Zealand sculptor Greer Twiss and graduated from Elam in 1988. He operated Enfield St studios for four years, establishing himself as a prolific and serious professional artist. By 1993 he began lecturing in studio practice and gained a number of large-scale sculpture commissions, resulting in major works for Wrightson Bloodstock, the National Bank and Air New Zealand. In 1996 he built a studio in West Auckland and concentrated on studio sculpture and exploring his core themes of geometries, structure, balance and joy. In 2000 Miller was a founding member of the Auckland Outdoor Sculpture Society which developed the Auckland Domain Sculpture Trail. Since 2000 he has worked with various city councils, architectural firms and museums to produce large-scale public works both in New Zealand and overseas. His work is represented in many major New Zealand collections.


Rob Garrett
Project Curator - Rob Garrett Contemporary Fine Art Ltd
021 58 69 00
Kylee Boswell
Communication Executive
Tel (Direct):
07 838 6726
021 816 917


Page reviewed: 22 Nov 2011 12:00am